MILWAUKEE ( TheStreet) -- Medium-sized companies such as Mattel ( MAT), Noble Corp. ( NE), Western Union ( WU) and Limited Brands ( IDTI) will be second-half stars if the economy continues to grow, says Matt Fahey, manager of the Marshall Mid-Cap Value Fund ( MVEAX).The $236 million mutual fund is little changed this year and has risen 23% over the past 12 months. Welcome to TheStreet.com's Fund Manager Five Spot, where America's top mutual fund managers give their best stock picks and views on the market in a five-question format. Why are mid-cap stocks the place to be right now? Fahey: Mid-cap stocks are kind of a sweet spot within the market. They're still small enough they can grow to be large-caps, yet they're more established than small-cap companies. So they have established managements, market shares and outlooks. One stock you like is Mattel. Why do you like the toymaker? Fahey: Mattel is a selling at only 12 or 13 times earnings. They have had a little difficult time over the past couple of years. Revenues declined because of the global economy, margins have weakened a little bit because of the raw material costs to make a Barbie and package it, but I see all those things turning around. They have some new, creative products coming out. You have an A-plus management, an A-plus balance sheet, they're generating a lot of free cash flow and you get a 3.5% yield to wait for it. So I think Mattel would be considered a very high-quality company in this environment. A lot of people are worried about drillers because of the offshore-drilling moratorium, yet you still like Noble. Why? Fahey: Noble is a good contrarian bet. There are not a lot of people who are going to take a drilling story to a cocktail party and say, 'Hey, I just bought a driller.' But that's the attractiveness of it. I think Noble's trading at about a 10-year low, and the valuation tools I use I see earnings estimates falling. I'm aware of that. I think they'll continue to fall, but I think 12 months from now, owning a driller like Noble, which is a high-quality company, is going to pay off. I don't think this moratorium is going to last forever. There's just so much negative talk about drillers right now that I think it's a good place to be. It's also important to note that while Noble has 10% of its rigs in the Gulf, it was not involved in the BP ( BP) accident directly.
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